Scientists say that cells in a mother's breast milk can be tested to check if the woman is at risk of developing breast cancer. Certain cells in the breast milk contain genes which can be linked to breast cancer. Thus testing these cells is a cheap, non-invasive and simple way to predict the risk of breast cancer. The study was conducted by U.S. researchers at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst.
About 250 women were part of the study. Milk samples were collected from these women. Also they underwent a biopsy to check for breast cancer. To check out for early signs of breast cancer scientists tested the DNA of the cells in the milk to see whether the genes had been altered in any way. It was found that women whose biopsy report was suggestive of cancer also showed signs of breast cancer in milk cells.
AdvertisementSo far there has been no effective way of screening young women for breast cancer because mammograms do not always detect tumors in women who have not reached the menopause, particularly if the women are breast feeding.